Photo credit: Intel Solar Installation Vietnam by Intel Free Press
Based on information from Greentech Media, Mexico offers a great solar energy opportunity. This was confirmed in the Solar Energy Section Report published by Mexico’s energy department SENER. According to the document, Mexico’s solar insolation is about 5 kilowatt-hours per meter-squared daily, which is almost the same output as southern California. If Mexico is to use 0.06% of its landmass, especially in Chihuahua or the Sonoran Desert, it could cover most of its electricity needs easily.
Globally speaking, the International Energy Agency’s EA Photovoltaic Power Systems Program Annual Report for 2008 indicates that Mexico’s average solar insolation (60%) is more than Germany, which is the current king of solar energy. The only reason the South American country hasn’t been able to catch up is because its solar energy technologies were underdeveloped. However, things are starting to change in the Mexican solar energy sector.
In December 2013, Mexico’s Congress passed amendments to the constitution, creating a ‘free market’ for electric power. One of the amendments now mandates that 35% of Mexico’s electricity be generated from renewable resources before 2024. With the market thriving with opportunities for renewable energy, international companies are stepping into Mexico to establish joint ventures with local companies.
One of the latest to announce its plans in Mexico is the Los Angeles-based CSDR International, Inc. The American producer of high concentrated photovoltaic systems has entered a joint venture with IVA DC Proyectos del Noroeste to connect with renewable energy buyers and developers.
“Once the energy reforms are finalized in Mexico, we expect the market for concentrated solar power to exceed $10 billion USD,” said the CEO of CSDR Randall H. Roth. “Our partnership with VIVA offers us early entry along with a wide variety of other strategic advantages in Mexico’s new energy markets,” he added.
During the announcement, Roth also shared that Mexico has one of the highest Direct Normal Irradiance on the planet. With the help of the company’s special PV systems, Mexico will be able to tap into its clean energy potential. VIVA’s president Martin Dojaque believes so; he said, “Mexico has chosen a new path for energy development. We have land, facilities, expertise and other resources which will give CSDR a running start at this developing market for renewable energy.”
In order to attract even more investors, Mexico intends to host the Intersolar Summit Mexico on the 15th of May at the Marriott Reforma Hotel in Mexico City. Through this one-day event, local players in the PV market will meet international investors and both parties will exchange information via lectures and panel discussions.
One of the event’s main focuses will be on the financing options available for both. Participants will also learn about some of the projects taking place in the country as well as best examples learned from these. Other topics to be covered throughout the Intersolar Summit Mexico event are the trends of the Mexican PV market, the role of solar energy in Central America, and the incentives and barriers of institutional financing.
Other events are happening, like the Mexico Energy Summit, on September 10 and 11, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency, Mexico City, Mexico, which is expected to focus a big part of electricity discussion in renewable generation, distribution and infrastructure, as Mexico is required to have 1/3 of electricity production from renewable sources by 2024.
With the speed Mexico is going in, solar energy will soon become the top source of electricity in the country.